EGU24-7174, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Acceleration of Uplift in the Central Taurides due to Continental Fragment Collision in the Subduction Zone of the Eastern Anatolian Region

Stuart Clark and Peigen Lou
Stuart Clark and Peigen Lou
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales Sydney, Kensington, Australia (

The dynamics of subducting lithosphere with an embedded continental fragment is complex, with rapid changes in plate kinematics, mantle flow and uplift of the overriding plate as the fragment impacts the trench. However, the sequence and timing of the effects is often difficult to constrain, leading to uncertainties in the exact causes for particular subduction zones. We conducted 2D and 3D numerical modelling of subduction with Underworld2.0 to investigate the interactions between the subducting lithosphere and an embedded continental fragment, the Eratosthenes Seamount in the Cyprus subduction zone. Due to the uncertainty in the size of the continental crust around the Eratosthenes Seamount, we varied the size of the fragment from 200 km to 400 km (trench perpendicular) and compared to 3D model with a fixed seamount. The 3D model matches the regional seismic tomography models that show the absence of lithosphere on the subducting slab ahead of the continental fragment. In all the models, the subduction zone first develops as expected as the continental fragment approaches the trench. As the fragment contacts the trench at 6.5 Ma, the first uplift in Anatolia is experienced. However, the pace of uplift increases dramatically at 450 ka as the slab tear develops and the mantle flow pattern changes. The observed uplift rate before 450 ka is 0.07 mm/yr while after 450 ka, the uplift rate increases to 3.21 – 3.42 mm/yr. The model that best matches the size of the fragment is 200 km with a rate of 0.04 mm/yr before 450 ka and 1.76 mm/yr after 450 ka. The reference uplift rate from the model without the slab break-off from 450 ka is only 0.02 mm/yr.  The models demonstrate that the slab tear and break-off caused by the impact of the Eratosthenes Seamount causes the uplift observed and in particular is responsible for the more rapid uplift rates observed since 450 ka in the Central Taurides. 

How to cite: Clark, S. and Lou, P.: The Acceleration of Uplift in the Central Taurides due to Continental Fragment Collision in the Subduction Zone of the Eastern Anatolian Region, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7174,, 2024.

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